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North Texas City Shuts Off Water

Kemp had earlier implemented strict water restrictions

Monday, Aug 8, 2011  |  Updated 7:12 PM CDT
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Kemp is handing out bottled water, and providing non-potable water to residents for flushing toilets and other chores, after the city shut off water service to repair pipes and recharge the water towers.

Kevin Cokely, NBCDFW.com

Kemp is handing out bottled water, and providing non-potable water to residents for flushing toilets and other chores, after the city shut off water service to repair pipes and recharge the water towers.

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Kemp shut off its water for 48 hours beginning Sunday because the city cannot keep up with demand.

One day earlier, the city implemented strict water restrictions that included bans watering, filling swimming pools and washing cars.

But the city decided on Sunday to turn off water to all residents for 48 hours.

Kemp's mayor, Donald Kile, said the city has not been able to catch up with demand after a major water main break two weeks ago that spilled 2 million gallons of water.

"You try to do everything that you can but it gets to a point where you gotta finally just say, "OK, we've done all we can. We've got to go to last resorts," said Kile. "The long-term solution is to replace water pipes, yeah.  But it's going to take millions and millions of dollars.  We're a small city and we just don't generate that kind of money."

Kemp said the Stage 5 drought restriction was put into place to conserve the available water supply and/or to protect the integrity of water-supply facilities.

Restaurants were prohibited from serving water to customers except when it was requested.

Under Stage 5 restrictions, residents are not allowed to water their lawns or landscapes or wash cars, bikes, boats or other vehicles. Residents also cannot fill or add water to swimming pools of any king or operate fountains or ponds that do not have aquatic life or a recirculation system.

Many residents said they had to leave town to shower or use the restroom and that it felt like they were living in a third-world country.

"No water at the house at all.  No water.  you just have to flush the commode with gallons of water and stuff like that.  It's just a terrible situation," said Jerry Kendricks, resident.

Violations of the Stage 5 water restrictions is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. Water service can be discontinued after three offenses.

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